I go through these seasons when I listen to an album over and over again. Eventually those songs become intertwined with specific eras in my life. Since high school, there have been about a dozen or so of these kind of albums. In the Fall of 2013, that album was Vampire Weekend’s excellent (and ridiculously named) third album Modern Vampires of the City.
It was a season in my life when I was agonizing over whether to continue on a path that I loved but was becoming increasingly unsustainable. The unease, discontent, and against-odds glimpses of hope in songs like “Unbelievers,” “Hannah Hunt,” “Ya Hey,” and others evoke that time in which I ultimately decided to stalk out into an unknown wilderness that eventually led me here.
Now nearly 6 years later, Vampire Weekend has released their followup Father of the Bride (I think they are intentionally trolling people with album titles). I don’t know if this collection of songs will join my pantheon of signpost albums. I was initially underwhelmed by it, but I have warmed up to it a bit more. A major reason why I’ve listened to this release enough for it to grow on me is because I’ve been obsessed with the second track of the album ever since I laid ears on it. Musically, “Harmony Hall” is gorgeous. It lights up all sorts of melodic receptors in my brain. When you marry that music to lyrics that simultaneously capture and haunt me it turns into one of those songs that I restart the second it begins to fade out.